Worshipping at the Altar of the Jewish Dating Gods. Or, Jews of the World Unite, on JDate!

In one of those seemingly random convergences of synergies, the current issues of both Lilith and the online Jewish women’s mag 614 feature articles on JDate. In different ways, the publications explore the huge impact it and other Jewish e-dating sites have had on how the Jewish world hooks up.

Before I go any further, I have to admit I’ve never been on JDate. And, after reading this month’s Lilith cover article, boy am I glad. As Susan Schnur writes it, it’s not pretty out there. On the other hand, several of the people closest to me have met their significant others on JDate and are in very committed and happy relationships, so I can’t help but think it’s for the good. So the underlying question is, as always — Is JDate good for the Jews or bad for the Jews?

The answer is, undoubtedly, good for some and bad for others. Another way to put the question, more practically — and bluntly: are more or fewer Jewish babies being born because of Jewish e-dating? Surely the world will never know. But let’s take some guesses, just for fun.

Perhaps it’s fewer, because you can’t make babies over the internet. (Reproductive technology is not that advanced … yet). As Schnur suggests in Lilith, people are spending more time fussing around the internet, hemming and hawing and being nitpicky over potential partners, instead of just choosing someone and hopping into marriage and babies. The plethora of dating options that the worldwide web provides causes some daters to hedge their bets and take more time to explore the entire field, until they find that elusive Mr. or Ms. Right. Or don’t. In the meantime, precious eggs are going to waste. If you will like to explore your dating options, check this list with the best sites for dating.

But that’s not just a Jewish problem. JDate doesn’t exist in a Jewish vacuum. The whole world is e-dating. It’s not a choice between JDate or internet-less dating, but between JDate or Match.com (or e-Harmony.com or one of the numerous other dating sites serving the general population). So in the world of internet dating the mere existence of JDate and its ilk is a definite boon for the Jews, a haven from the wider world of e-dating, where, if one is not vigilant, one is as likely as an unsuspecting college co-ed to haplessly fall for a non-Jew (shudder).

And it would stand to reason that people who meet on JDate are likely, when they do procreate, to raise their children at least nominally Jewish. Why bother signing up to meet other Jews as potential mates if you don’t want to identify as Jewish?

In fact, a couple of the articles in 614 made me realize the potential that JDate has as a unifier of the Jewish people — across denominations, affiliations, levels of observance and commitment. Michelle Cove recalls how the process of filling out her JDate profile made her reevaluate her religious status and consider how far to the right or left she would be willing to go for a potential partner, while Marnie Alexis Friedman writes about her experiences dating men of different observance levels and denominational affiliations from herself. Implicit in both of these pieces is the idea that JDate supplies individual Jews with easy access to meeting Jews who are different from themselves. Though individuals might, the website doesn’t discriminate based on affiliation or practice. It’s one of the few forums in which Jews are Jews, and that’s that.

It’s come to the point where, no matter how irreligious or unaffiliated a person is, just joining JDate — an expression of desire to meet someone Jewish — is itself an act of religious devotion. So, next time you’re feeling frustrated with JDating, just think of that monthly subscription fee as a ritual e-sacrifice on the e-altar of love.

–Rebecca Honig Friedman

14 comments on “Worshipping at the Altar of the Jewish Dating Gods. Or, Jews of the World Unite, on JDate!

  1. Jewishsoulsearch.com on

    I met my wife on a free Jewish dating site. It changed my life and here we are 11 years later with two kids we are thrilled we took that leap and joined the dating site.

    We felt that the free dating sit e model was important so we started our own site and have run it as a free site for the past 3 years.

    Jewish dating sites have a very important role in Jewish society today.

  2. Anonymous on

    The reasons to supposedly worry whether JDate is good for Jewish women existed before JDate and e-dating and even just plain dating. As Kohelet / Ecclesiastes teaches us, “There is nothing new under the sun.” However, one possibly new objectionable thing about e-dating is that it facilitates and worsens objectification. I’ve seen one woman on JDate sitting in front of a bronze-colored nude male torso; it looked like the kind of thing you’d see near the entrance to the restrooms in a cheesy Greek restaurant. One woman reclined belly-down on a fluffy bed wearing either a backless dress – or nothing. This phenomenon is not good for Jewish women. Yes, e-objectification happens on GoyDate too, but JDate serves Jews, Jews are taught to value the contents of a vessel and not the vessel itself, human pulchritude is mere vessel, and e-objectification is more objectionable in a Jewish context.

    I also would have liked to read discussion about one JDate feature: listing your income. Most women’s profiles I’ve seen do not use this feature; they say, “I’ll tell you later.” When women fill in “Over $100,000,” is it empowering? Does it scare affluent men away? Does it attract fortune-hunters? I don’t know, but would love to hear more.

    Guy ex-Jdater, Greater Boston

  3. Ukraine Women on

    We are running a pretty successful e-dating site and you’ve got a number of examples when e-dating grows into steady family relationship, children, etc.

  4. Dating Russian Bride on

    to Anonymous:
    Why do you think you have right to tell Jewish women what is good or bad to her? They (Jewish women) may be exposed to explicit scenes not only on dating site but nowadays where ever they go or whatever they do.
    As for income info on a profile: I think lots of us understand that it’s pretty easy to manipulate with this info and fill in whatever you like.

  5. Hesh on

    E-dating is horrible for women- coming from a mans perspective all E-Dating has done is allow men to click away after seeing just one or two pictures, pictures cannot tell a story and often times are not very flattering of the person regardless of her looks in real life.

    That said it makes the rejection process quicmk and painless- but is that good? It is teaching an ever speedy society to be quicker with their mouse buttons so many of the “lesser attractive” women are left in the dust- the same is true of men but I feel that women are more likely then men to over look the looks at least for a first date with someone who seems to be right besides for the picture.

  6. Gary Morgenstein on

    I’m writing about my new dating and relationship book, How to Find a Woman…Or Not. Below is the press release. Please let me know if you’d be interested in sharing this with your readers. If you’d like, I’d be happy to send along an excerpt for you to post!


    Take care and thanks for your time.
    Gary Morgenstein

    New York, NY – January 20, 2010 — Loneliness is about to become an endangered species with Gary Morgenstein’s How to Find a Woman…Or Not, a groundbreaking new method for finding true love. If you view all of Planet Earth as a singles bar, then walking your dog, practicing yoga, riding mass transit, buying a book or lamb chops, renting an apartment, washing your socks or even getting your teeth cleaned can lead to the woman of your dreams.

    In How to Find a Woman…Or Not, the critically-acclaimed novelist/playwright (Jesse’s Girl, Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, Take Me Out to the Ballgame) combines his own battle-scarred dating experiences and public relations background to provide men of all ages with a comic, erotic guide to romance, love, sex and the ultimate relationship.

    Morgenstein furnishes practical advice for meeting women in all situations, from hospitals and gyms to airport terminals; the best conversation-opening props; charming a girl in an elevator; what not to put in your supermarket shopping cart; romance in a doctor’s waiting room; how to land an older or younger woman; phone call/texting/email tips; navigating online dating; work relationships without losing your job; pros and cons of your mother finding you a girl; the do’s and don’ts of dating behavior; bedroom tactics, progressing beyond the first date to a real relationship, and much more.

    Funny and poignant, Gary Morgenstein’s How to Find a Woman…Or Not is an indispensable road map to passion and commitment in the 21st Century.

    Gary Morgenstein’s novels include Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, about a divorced man who falls in love with a beautiful woman rabbi; Jesse’s Girl, a powerful story about a father’s search for his adopted teenage son, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a political baseball thriller, as well as the baseball Rocky The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. His prophetic play Ponzi Man played to sell-out crowds at the New York Fringe Festival. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, surrounded by lots of books and rock and roll CDs

  7. Sara on

    Googled Jewish Dating and found hundreds of site…

    Aside from jDate, I found these two site that are cute: UrbanTraditional.com and PlentyOfJews.net … the second one I found hilarious as really there aren’t so many Jews in the world… only 13 million according to wiki…

    Thought I’d share this.

  8. D.K.Milgrim-Heath on

    To Jewish E-Date Or Not Jewish E-Date At All That’s The Question
    By D.K. Milgrim-Heath©2011
    To Jewish E-Date or not Jewish E-Date at all that’s the question-
    I research thoroughly subject matters on this topic for a positive suggestion.
    Someone I knew was Jewish highly recommended JDate-
    Thoughts about all Jewish religious e-date sites come to mind I thoughtfully enumerate!
    Never have I done dating this way this ‘modern style’ type of thing-
    Should I give E-dating sites a chance to go for it wards something?
    Feeling strange to ask my 3 grown children thoughts on E-Date advice you see-
    Even though some of my female friends have gone this route before me!
    Recently dating a man 8 years younger since I’m always mistaken for my true age-
    People don’t believe me that I’d be a grandma chronologically at this stage!
    So challenging for others to get to know you when any type of date has begun-
    No matter what your age discovering (after years in my case) dating can be fun!
    The thrill of meeting another makes one’s life change-
    If that person’s ‘THE ONE’ YOU LIFE WILL RE-ARRANGE.
    Quite the changed world since I was married in 1981 when E-dating wasn’t around thirty years ago-
    Most modern women and give E-Dating a whirl of trials we know.
    Of course I don’t compete with the 20-30 ages women anymore-
    I’ve been told I look much younger in my late 30’s-40’s just no more!
    An older lady has much experience if one’s a mother, once that wife-
    With wisdom/experiences that the younger women don’t have yet in life!
    I’ve written I don’t do Facebook, Twitter and other sites that are the same-
    I’m just too private for a personal profile this I always claim!
    So will I ever take the leap of a different chance?
    Finding another man in reality for another permanent romance?

  9. Kellee Fourre on

    32. You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

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